An ideology is a complex of ideas or notions which represents itself to the thinker as an absolute truth for the interpretation of the world and his situation within it; it leads the thinker to accomplish an act of self-deception for the purpose of justification, obfuscation and evasion in some sense or other to his advantage.
To cover politics in Washington allows you to live in the very, very wide gap between what the actual truth is, and how people are trying to manipulate the truth. They speak in the language of spin, obsequiousness, obfuscation. The meta of politics is just this endless source of material that can shed light on the psychology of the process.
My mother, whom I love dearly, has continually revised my life story within the context of a complicated family history that includes more than the usual share of divorce, step-children, dysfunction, and obfuscation. I've spent most of my adult life attempting to deconstruct that history and separate fact from fiction.
Every writer dreams of a perfect language. Every writer dreams of a language that obeys, that comes to heel. For some this language is spare and pure, pared down to reveal essential truths without ornament or obfuscation. For others it is devilish and twisting, folding back over itself to create layers of meaning, shades of nuance. A language that will survive through the ages. A language that will crack open the heart of readers like a hazelnut.
Specific reifications are variations on this general theme. Marriage, for instance, may be reified as an imitation of divine acts of creativity, as a universal mandate of natural laws, as the necessary consequences of biological or psychological forces, or, for that matter, as a functional imperative of the social system. What all these reifications have in common is their obfuscation of marriage as an ongoing human production. [... ] Through reification, the world of institutions appears to merge with the world of nature.
The zest for life of those unusual men and women who make a great zealous success of living is due more often in good part to the craftiness and pertinacity with which they manage to overlook the misery of others. You can watch them watch life beat the stuffing out of the faces of their friends and acquaintances, although they themselves seem to outwit the dense delays of social custom, the tedious tick-tock of bureaucratic obfuscation, accepting loss and age and change and disappointment without suffering punctures in their stomach lining.
As a people, we have been tolled farther and farther away from the facts of what we have done by the romanticizers, whose bait is nothing more than the wishful insinuation that we have done no harm. Speaking a public language of propaganda, uninfluenced by the real content of our history which we know only in a deep and guarded privacy, we are still in the throes of the paradox of the 'gentleman and soldier.' However conscious it may have been, there is no doubt in my mind that all this moral and verbal obfuscation is intentional. Nor do I doubt that its purpose is to shelter us from the moral anguish implicit in our racism-an anguish that began, deep and mute, in the minds of Christian democratic freedom-loving owners of slaves.